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Post Still a freshman quarterback

Wednesday August 11, 2010

The reviews were generally positive yesterday regarding Aaron Murray’s first preseason scrimmage as the Bulldog starting quarterback. He threw for over 200 yards and had two long touchdown passes to A.J. Green. Players and coaches commended Murray for his reads, the way he trusted the line, his presence in the huddle, and the placement of his passes. It seems a little incongruous that he was 12-of-21, but we don’t know anything about the conditions of the scrimmage or the number of drops or things like that.

But as if we needed a reminder of his inexperience, he’s still going through the same learning process that most freshman do. “I did force a couple throws today trying to make plays, and I will learn from that,” Murray admitted. One of those forced throws was a poor decision in the red zone that resulted in an interception. “It was not a wise decision,” noted coach Mark Richt. “He knows he doesn’t have to be a hero, and it’s all right to throw it out of bounds some times.”

That’s not an indictment of Murray – it’s a lesson for new quarterbacks that plays out time after time, and even future #1 draft picks go through it. It continues to be something Murray struggles with. Including yesterday’s scrimmage and going back through G-Day and the spring scrimmages, Murray has yet to have a scrimmage this year without an interception. Yesterday’s pick as well as the one at G-Day were the result of poor decisions and trying to force something to happen. Murray, a bright guy, has immersed himself in the feedback loop of film study, evaluation, and adjustment, and he’s not oblivious to these mistakes.

You appreciate the touchdown passes to Green and recognize that with Green, Charles, and handful of other dynamic receiving options that this could be quite a productive passing game. On the other hand, you think back to Stafford’s first season (not to mention last year) and remember the crushing role that turnovers played in those lukewarm years. The defense creating more turnovers this year is only half of correcting last season’s dreadful turnover margin. Getting fewer than 15 INT from the starting quarterback would also help. Georgia had just three games without giving up a pick last year, and two of those were some of the biggest wins of the season (Auburn and Georgia Tech).

Despite the tempting weapons on the receiving end, the touted offensive line and solid tailback tandem makes it possible to ask just how much you need a freshman quarterback to do. Murray seems to be headed for a bright future, and he already has a solid command of the team and offense even before his first game. You can’t blame fans for being a little nervous though – they still remember the 10 of 22 for 96 yards at G-Day, and Murray continues to work through the occasional forced pass. A 2-to-1 TD-to-INT ratio wouldn’t be awful, but can the Dawgs ride out this learning process, or will it put the brakes on the 2010 season at some point?

2 Responses to 'Still a freshman quarterback'

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  • It is not so much that Aaron Murray is a redshirt freshman who came here injured, then threw his arm out missing 21 Fall Practices last year, and then only got half the passes this Spring – splitting time at # 1, but that there are only other true freshmen on the entire roster.

    How did we get ourselves into this position, after doing it last year too not having prepared our Quarterbacks this year, last year, and don’t forget we didn’t prepare our quarterbacks for 2006 either.

    I still believe we will go 12-2.

    At least until if he goes down again, Heaven Forbid. Unfortunately, you just have to say it. There was no excuse whatsoever for Joe Cox to not have gotten some play in 5 years here. There is no excuse for not having played Zach Mettenberger in game 1 last year vs Okie State. And, there likewise will be no excuse for not putting Hutson Mason on the field in like the 3rd series or so Game 1 no matter what the score.

    We must do a lot better job of preparing our quarterbacks. Look at John Brantley for example; he is certainly prepared properly, isn’t he ?

    There is no question that if Aaron Murray sustains any kind of injury again, that the brakes on the 2010 season will have been applied with aplomb.

  • So now we have 2 scrimmages behind us and neither were good performances by Aaron. To say i’m concerned is an understatement.

    I think fans are expecting way too much from the D this season and have forgotten that even Saban lost to Louisiana Monroe his first year at Bama. LOUISIANA MONROE.

    Sorry, I don’t think there’s any way in hades we win 10 games this season. 7-8 wins is about what i expect with our first loss coming against the lamecocks.

    Praying to the good Lord that i’m wrong though.